Ladies and gents, you can begin your engines — however they’re going to have a bit of time to heat up.

Today marks the opening of the franchise and transition tag window, which implies we’re within the ultimate levels as groups put together for the brand new league yr and the beginning of free company on March 17.

The tag window runs from in the present day, Feb. 23, by way of March 9.

Teams can begin inserting the franchise or transition tag tenders on gamers starting in the present day and may nonetheless work out a long-term cope with the gamers by way of mid-July. If an extension is not labored out by then, the participant will play the 2021 season below the one-year tender.

Clubs have three totally different choices when deciding to tag a participant: 1) Non-exclusive franchise tag; 2) Exclusive franchise tag; 3) Transition tag.

Non-exclusive franchise tag: This is essentially the most generally used tag. Colloquially, when most consult with the “franchise tag,” they’re usually speaking concerning the non-exclusive model. This is a one-year tender of the typical of the highest 5 salaries on the participant’s place over the past 5 years, or 120 % of his earlier wage, whichever is larger. The participant can negotiate with different groups. The participant’s present staff has the appropriate to match any provide or obtain two first-round draft picks as compensation if he indicators with one other group.

Exclusive franchise tag: A one-year tender provide of the typical of the highest 5 salaries on the participant’s place for the present yr, or 120 % of his earlier wage, whichever is larger. The participant can not negotiate with one other staff. The rise in pay scale (present common wage versus averaging of the earlier 5 years) means solely a choose few get this tag. Usually, gamers for whom groups would gladly hand over two first-round picks obtain this model of the tag — usually, quarterbacks like Dak Prescott final season get the unique.

Transition tag: The transition designation is a one-year tender provide for the typical of the highest 10 salaries on the place — versus prime 5 for the franchise tag. It ensures the unique membership the appropriate of first refusal to match any provide the participant would possibly obtain from one other membership. The tagging staff is awarded no compensation if it chooses to not match a deal. The transition tag is usually a placeholder giving the membership the power to match any contract the participant negotiations with one other staff.

Each staff can solely use one franchise or transition tag every year. A rescinded tender counts as a tag — you will keep in mind that the Carolina Panthers famously rescinded Josh Norman’s tag again in 2016. A participant may be tagged as much as thrice by his staff, with a soar in pay every prevalence — normally by the third tag, the proportion of the wage cap taken up at the moment makes it prohibitive.

Franchise tag figures for every place are based mostly on the wage cap for the 2021 season. Since the cap is just not formally set, groups are presently working off estimates. We know the wage cap will not be decrease than $180 million.

While in the present day marks the beginning of the franchise tag window, do not anticipate a bevy of groups to make use of their choice simply but. Clubs will proceed to attempt to work on long-term extensions till the window closes on March 9. The tags are normally applied after it is clear sides want extra time to barter.

Of the candidates to get the tag, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the Dallas Cowboys are anticipated to make use of a second straight tag on Prescott if no long-term deal is completed. Likewise, Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers are anticipated to tag receiver Chris Godwin — they used the tag on Shaquil Barrett final yr. Rapoport additionally added that Lions receiver Kenny Golladay is a robust candidate to get tagged.

The window is open. The flurry of reports doubtless will not fly by way of it till nearer to the March 9 deadline.